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Misdiagnosis can lead to worsened condition


Patients in Boston who are suffering from symptoms or an illness visit their doctor hoping to receive a diagnosis of their problem so that it can be fixed. One of the worst things that can happen -- and one that occurs all too frequently -- is a misdiagnosis and the illness or disease grows worse because of it. The failure to diagnose can cause a person to grow sicker and even die.

A woman's young daughter suffered an extended amount of pain and continued sickness after delayed treatment. At the age of four, the girl was suffering from high fevers in the 103-104 degree range. Routine blood tests came back negative. She was given other tests to determine what was wrong including one to see if she had an inflammatory disorder. She also had genetic testing.

More blood was eventually taken and she was given medication with side effects that included severe cramps. The medical professionals could not find out what was wrong. The mother had not been feeling well either and decided to be tested for the genetic inflammatory disorder that had come up negative in her daughter. After she was tested, it was realized that the child's DNA had been mixed up with that of a 41-year-old man. In the end, it was found that the problem was her tonsils. They were removed and she's been fine since.

For many diseases, especially cancer and other treatable problems, it's imperative that they are caught early. The spread of disease can be slowed or stopped completely if the doctors are able to catch it early. Failing to do so can lead to worsened condition and even death. If a person has grown sicker or a family member has been lost because of a failure to diagnose any medical issue, they need to understand that they have rights. Doctors need to be held responsible when they are negligent in treating their patients.

In this instance, the mother and daughter were lucky that the unconscionable mix-up of her daughter's DNA with that of a grown man was discovered before it was too late. Since it was only her tonsils and this is a common problem with children, the mistake was even more egregious. When any kind of mistake of this nature is made, those who were misdiagnosed would be well-advised to understand their legal rights.

Source: Poughkeepsie Journal, "Medical test mistakes pose serious risk," Lisa Iannucci, June 1, 2014

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